Just like any soon-to-be-wed, there is always that excitement and anticipation as the wedding draws closer. This was the exact situation for Grace Nakawooya, a gospel singer and former nurse.
On a Sunday morning, of September 9, 2018, 11 days to her wedding, Nakawooya woke up and prepared to go for work. She had also made plans to meet up with one of her wedding dress vendors so that she could clear part of the bill. Nakawooya got to her knees, said a prayer and headed to town to finish her errands for the day. Little did she know that tragedy would strike and her life was about to take a complete turn.
While on one of the episodes of a program called ‘Mwasuze Mutya’ that airs from Monday to Friday on local television station NTV Uganda, Nakawooya shared her touching story about how everything went down.
How it all happened
“Being that I was working on Entebbe road, I decided to meet my dress dealer in town, at Shell along Ben Kiwanuka road just next to the old taxi park and 2K restaurant. I chose the place because it would be convenient for me to get a taxi and head to work after the appointment,” Nakawooya narrates.
As she stood by the roadside, she saw a taxi come from the park headed her way. She didn’t it but decided to step back a little so that she could create more space for it, “Whenever the taxi got closer, I kept on extending but as it reached real close, everything happened so fast and I found myself ran over and lying beneath it.”
Nakawooya says in the moment, she could hear people telling the driver he had ran over someone but it felt like a century before he could reverse the car, “I had a bag and since it had money, I was holding it from the front, leaving one hand free. Even when the accident took place, I kept holding onto my bag,” Nakawooya explains.
She adds that in the moment, people gathered around trying to witness what had taken place but all this time she hadn’t yet realized that she had any damage on her body but just asked to be taken to hospital for some checkups.
She also knew she had to give out her phone so that they could help her contact her people but she first hesitated until she was sure there were enough people around her and her things were secure.
“I decided to try and call my friend’s number but it was off and in the process, I tried to lift my left hand but then I couldn’t. This is when I realized it had been crashed,” she narrates
Nakwooya says it took her a few minutes and the pain kicked it, “Everything hurt and every single breath I took came with immense pain.”
In the moment, they had already called her sister and informed her about the accident as some two good Samaritans lent a helping hand to figure out how they could get her to the hospital, “Among all the people that were gathered around, only two people took time to help get treatment as fast as they could. One of the two men carried me in his arms like a baby and we sat on a Bodaboda heading to Kibuli hospital, being the nearest at the moment.”
By the time they reached the hospital, Nakawooya says she was in unbearable pain but had to go through x-ray as they waited for a specific doctor to arrive. Gladly, her sister had also arrived so she was in comfort knowing she wasn’t all alone.
When the doctor came, Nakawooya received some sad news, she was told two of her ribs were broken and that is why she felt pain as she breathed. She was also told that her hand needed someone that dealt in nerves and he was given a phone call but unfortunately, he didn’t show up.
Her husband-to-be, Ronald Keeya Ssenabulya was in Mityana where he had gone for a church service and unfortunately, his phone was off at the time.,
“Immediately I turned the phone on, I could see multiple notifications from different people telling me my wif- to-be had been involved in an accident and I needed to get to Kibuli hospital immediately,” says Ssenabulya.
When he tried to make phone calls to ask what condition she was in, they just kept telling him to go see for himself, “At this moment I thought she was dead but I had to be strong until I got there.”
He managed to get there with the help of a Good Samaritan since he couldn’t drive due to the nervousness.
By this time, Nkawooya had been taken to Platinum hospital but they too didn’t have the specific doctor required for her situation. They then proceeded to Nakasero hospital but still in vain until they finally proceeded and got lucky at Kampala hospital after a few phone calls.
This is where she was told that her hand had to be cut off and the decision had to be made immediately, “I had expected this on seeing the situation that my hand was in but still asked if there was no any other way.”
The doctor assured her that this was the only way to survive and she had no choice but to give her consent.
As she was being prepped for surgery, Nakawooya says her husband said words that didn’t make much meaning to her then, but have had impact to her life till now, “ He told me that no matter what happened and no matter how I look after the surgery, the wedding was still to go on if I wanted it to.”
According to Ssenabulya, all he could see was that the devil was trying to do his work so he couldn’t allow him to get in the way.
After the surgery, Nakawooya stayed in hospital for about seven days and by the time she left, there were just four days left to the wedding and kwanjula ceremony. Everything was a mess but they still had to make it work, “I had earlier tried to book for two gowns and two changing dresses but no measurements had been take.”
Luckily, her designers had managed to figure out the measurements through estimations, “Even on the day of my wedding, two dresses managed to fit but the other two did not.”
Nakawooya, however, went through her ceremonies with ease as she still underwent treatment, “Even though things didn’t go exactly according to plan, I thank God that they ceremonies at least happened.”
She is now a mother of two and says she will always be grateful to her husband for loving her the way she is, “If it wasn’t for God, my husband, family and friends, I doubt I could have made it through the situation with ease.”
Many people reacted on twitter thanking Ssenabulya for being a supportive partner.
Meet Grace Nakawooya & Ronald Keeya Ssenabulya.
Grace lost her arm 11 days before her wedding. But she was determined to continue with the wedding & life.@fsnakazibwe @ntvuganda pic.twitter.com/pBZUdJEWEU
— Kakulu Betty (@Kakbetty) June 22, 2020
Oh kindly and loving father in heaven, cant stop thinking of you love and mercy towards our lovely sister Grace Nakawooya of Glorious singers from Najjanankumbi SDA, thank you lord coz you saved her from… https://t.co/qwqESHpses
— mukooza tadeo (@mtadewo) September 11, 2018